United States warship named after anti-war Harvey Milk


This 2015 video from the USA is called Harvey Milk / First Gay Politician (Biography TV).

This month, the United States Navy announced new names for several of their new warships.

United States warships and warplanes often have names of people in history. Eg, there is the military plane called the Spirit of Strom Thurmond. Republican Senator Strom Thurmond is one of the most racist bigots in US history.

Among the new warships’ names are several of people a lot better than Thurmond. They include women’s rights activist Lucy Stone and abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. And activist against discrimination of LGBTQ people Harvey Milk.

The new names in themselves are signs that some historical oppression has been abolished. Slavery against which Sojourner Truth (and Lucy Stone) fought was officially abolished in the 1860s. The ban on United States women voting against which Sojourner Truth and Lucy Stone fought was abolished in 1920.

As for Harvey Milk, during Barack Obama’s presidency the homophobic ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ rule in the US military was abolished.

San Francisco politician Scott Wiener writes:

When Harvey Milk served in the military, he couldn’t tell anyone who he truly was.

Harvey Milk was in the United States navy as a conscript during the Korean war.

There is a paradox in this new warship’s name.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

A friend of Milk’s thinks it is ironic that a warship is now named especially after him because Milk was against the Vietnam War and was part of an anti-militarist movement. “In my time men used to say they were gay to stay out of military service.”

So, this new name looks like ‘pinkwashing‘ of wars all over the world.

There is similar ambiguity about naming warships after Lucy Stone and Sojourner Truth. Their abolitionist movement opposed slavery, and oppression of women; but it opposed wars as well.

The Liberator, the paper of Stone’s and Truth’s abolitionist movement, wrote:

Anti-War Pledge – War with Mexico

June 5, 1846 …

desiring to show our utter abhorrence of slavery, and of every act either of the state or the individual, which means to support it,— and to bind ourselves before God and the world, to side with the oppressed, and not with the oppressor, we hereby pledge ourselves, neither by act or deed, to aid, support, or countenance the Government in the War with Mexico….. to refuse enlistment, contribution, aid and countenance to the War.

Murders in Germany, wars in the Middle East


This Associated Press video says about itself:

First anniversary of deadly NATO airstrike

SHOTLIST

Char Dara district, Kunduz province – 29 August 2010

1. Mid of site where airstrike on tankers happened
FILE: Char Dara district, Kunduz province – 05 September 2009

2. Former NATO commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal visiting the site a day after strike, burnt tanker in background

3. Mid of McChrystal and other NATO officials

4. Various of destroyed tanker
Char Dara district, Kunduz province – 29 August 2010

5. Zoom out of site

6. Mid of children playing at site
Char Dara district, Kunduz province – 27 August 2010

7. Wide of locals in Char Dara district

8. House of Haji Abdul Basir, who lost three of his sons and one of his grandsons in the strike

9. Various of Basir’s family

10. SOUNDBITE (Dari) Haji Abdul Basir, father and grand father of strike victims:

“Germany is our biggest enemy; they bombed us because of the two fuel tankers. If they hadn’t done what they did we would have been ready to sell our lands and pay them the cost of the tankers.”

11. Mid of Basir’s grandchild
Kunduz city, Kunduz province – 29 August 2010

12. SOUNDBITE (Dari) Hayatullah Khan, provincial director for Afghan Human Rights Commission in Kunduz:

“From the day after the incident, the commission started its investigation on the incident. After ongoing meetings with German PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) in Kunduz and meeting officials from German Defence ministry, we asked them if they could help the families of the victims in a way to repent for what happened and we also asked them to make sure there will not be anymore civilian casualties in future military operations.”

Kunduz city, Kunduz province – 31 August 2010

13. Wide shot of NATO military base in Kunduz province

14. SOUNDBITE (German) Major Stephen Wessel, German military spokesman in Kunduz:

“The one who did that from a military point of view at the time, who was responsible, had his reasons to act as he had decided. I can’t say anything more than this at this point.”

15. Close of hands

16. SOUNDBITE (German) Major Stephen Wessel, German military spokesman in Kunduz:

“The German army supported financially the victims’ relatives we could research and concerning this, the compensation to the victims’ relatives is now over. There are no further intention of support from the German army’s side. Beyond that, there are some further projects to support, but the security situation here in the region doesn’t allow for it at the moment.”
Kunduz city, Kunduz province – 29 August 2010

17. Wide of police checking cars and people in Kunduz city, rifle in foreground

18. Various shots of police checking car

19. Wide of checkpoint

STORYLINE

A year after a German-ordered airstrike on two tankers in Afghanistan that is believed to have killed scores of civilians, families in Char Dara are remembering their relatives.

On 4th September 2009, German Colonel Georg Klein ordered the NATO airstrike against two tanker trucks that had been seized by Taliban insurgents near Kunduz, fearing they could be used to attack troops.

The attack in the northern Afghan province killed up to 142 people, many of them civilians.

German officials have said the Taliban may have been planning a suicide attack on the military’s base using the hijacked tankers.

A year on, 65-year old Haji Abdul Basir was embittered by the incident which took the lives of his three sons and one of his grandsons.
“Germany is our biggest enemy they bombed us because of the two fuel tankers. If they hadn’t done what they did we would have been ready to sell our lands and pay them the cost of tankers,” said Basir.

Hayatullah Khan, the provincial director of the commission added that the issue of the civilian casualties in the military operations still remains a concern for them.

By VICTOR GROSSMAN in Germany:

These tragedies are born close to home

Wednesday 27th July 2016

VICTOR GROSSMAN reports from Berlin on causes of the spate of violence striking Germany and across Europe

ONE, two, three, four — so many killing scenes in Bavaria in little over a week. And that against a backdrop of terrible, even worse killings in so many towns and cities elsewhere.

My main reaction is sorrow. Sorrow for the innocent people who only took the train, went shopping or went to a concert and then never came home. And even more sorrow for the families and friends for whom they were irreplaceable.

Among the many, many flowers, candles and toys placed at the sites of the killings one word is often repeated: “Warum?” — “Why?”

In the hunt for answers we must look first at the perpetrators of these killings. Almost all were young men whose feelings had been twisted into hatred. Some had been diagnosed as mentally ill but the others must surely have suffered too to do such terrible things.

We need not look all too far to find possible causes of such hatred or, frequently, of distorted despair. I think of what hundreds of thousands of people have gone through. War-torn home towns, shootings, explosions and bombings in their native Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, a terrifying flight to get away, to find some haven, some place where they can escape and perhaps even realise their hopes and wishes but a hellish journey to get there.

For those who reached the Promised Land, Germany, some were lucky and found some of the many warm-hearted people who welcomed and helped them.

But all too many were met with callousness, rejection, neglect and greed, even violence, and the constant threat of being sent back to ruins and poverty.

In even the best cases there were the problems of finding oneself in a strange land, with a strange language and very different customs.

This is enough to twist the minds of many people, but not least of all those of young males barred from work and dignity, from family, from women.

Yes, my sorrow extends to all of them too — and to the tragedy of young lives distorted by such experience, lacking guidance or a chance to fight back properly, often so very much alone.

I cannot absolve them of guilt. But I can find guilt elsewhere as well. How many of the good, peaceful people in Bavarian towns and cities — or in other peaceful places — know or care about the killing in the homelands of these people and who has been responsible for them?

What was the punishment for the German colonel who in 2009 ordered the bombing in Kunduz which killed up to 100 civilians? Or was it 150? Who cares, really — except their families? And they, after all, received a full $5,000 for each death. Colonel Klein, who ordered the raid, was promoted to general a few years later.

Who still cares that in 2015, also in Kunduz, 30 or 40 medical personnel or patients, some of them children, were killed by a US war plane in repeated “mistaken” bombing attacks despite immediate pleas to desist? This time relatives were paid $6,000 for each family member killed. After all, one must not disregard inflation!

How many hundreds of thousands were killed in Iraq after a war based on conscious lies? The counting has not been so accurate as in the sad Bavarian massacre. How long have US weapons and German weapons been used to kill civilians in Yemen, in Syria, in Somalia? How long have US weapons and military assistance been used in the destruction of Gaza and repression in Palestine?

Most Arab people certainly know of all these things — and do not easily forget them. How many in Bavaria are aware of them? Or in Germany? Or the US?

The “unfortunate mistakes” at wedding parties and the like are not easily forgotten by sons or brothers. Is it surprising that some seek retribution, even blind retribution? Sadly, very tragically, the ones to suffer and die from such retribution are sometimes peaceful citizens of Arnsbach, Munich or other cities, who are just as innocent of any wrongdoing as those in Kunduz or Kirkuk. And, until the shots or blasts can be heard and felt, just as uninvolved.

This means that everything must be done, wherever we are, to get as many involved as possible. Not only must we oppose the bloody attacks from the sea, ground or air, but also the shipment of the utensils of death to those areas, indeed, to any areas.

We must let the people of other countries solve their own problems — without our pressures, our interference, above all without our weapons.

My sorrow extends even further, to much of what I see in the world which leads to death thoughts, large and small scale.

I firmly believe that we must oppose the cult of killing which pervades our entire culture, the war films, the video games and the media heroics which idolise Western snipers, torturers and killers of all kinds while detailing over and over the misdeeds of a tiny number of immigrants.

But the arms industry brings in billions. Its crooked influence is related, in no small measure, to killings of all kinds, whether by a mentally ill youngster on a peaceful street in Bavaria — inspired or not inspired by Isis leaders — or committed by a handsomely uniformed and decorated general and his men, praised by their embedded journalists as heroic saviours of our civilisation.

Indeed, they and the men behind them in their skyscraper boardrooms are, directly or indirectly, the truly guilty ones, for the wars, the waves of refugees, the misery and countless personal tragedies.

Can they be removed before we all kill each other off in some final hungry desert — or in a sudden final atomic blast?

United States Democratic party convention update


This video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders Delegates Protest At Media Tent Of Democratic National Convention

26 July 2016

Jordan Chariton of TYT Politics reports from the Bernie Sanders delegate walk-out and sit-in of the media tent at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Jordan speaks with Vermont delegate Shyla Nelson about why the protest happened.

DNC’s leaked emails expose corrupt funding practices within the Democratic Party: here.

This video from the USA says about itself:

26 July 2016

Jimmy Dore speaks with host of RT’s Redacted Tonight, Comedian Lee Camp outside the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

This video from the USA says about itself:

26 July 2016

Jordan Chariton of TYT Politics sat down with David Sparks, Wayne Borders and Shyla Nelson on Day 2 of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to discuss this election cycle.

This video from the USA says about itself:

26 July 2016

The Young Turks give you a 360° look inside a Bernie Sanders rally.

This 26 July 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii nominates Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Fox Sheriff: DNC “Embracing Criminality” Letting Trayvon’s Mom Speak

26 July 2016

Sheriff David Clark went on Fox News to criticize the DNC for having the mothers of fallen black children speak about police violence. Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola (ThinkTank), and Michael Shure, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Republicans Upset By Insufficient DNC Warmongering

26 July 2016

Republicans are criticizing the DNC for not including enough ISIS pants peeing in their speeches. Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola (ThinkTank), and Michael Shure, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

Trump tweeted “Why aren’t the Democrats speaking about ISIS, bad trade deals, broken borders, police and law and order. The Republican Convention was great.” Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), also criticized the Democrats, saying “It is extraordinary to think that yesterday in Philadelphia 61 speakers came to the podium and not one of the[m] named ISIS by name.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement: “The fact that we heard zero mentions of ISIS or terrorism from any of the speakers on the first night of the [Democratic convention] only confirms how far Democrats have their heads buried in the sand on national security issues.”

While Hillary Clinton did mention ISIS in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Republicans are correct that no Democratic speakers mentioned the terrorist organization at the first night of the DNC.

This criticism about national security is ironic, however, given the dearth of attention [about] climate change, which the Pentagon has characterized as a immediate security threat, received at the Republican National Convention.”

Read more here.

CLIMATE CHANGE JEOPARDIZING U.S. MILITARY BASES “Rising sea levels due to hurricanes and tidal flooding intensified by climate change will put military bases along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast at risk, according to a report released on Wednesday.” [Reuters]

War and the Democratic National Convention: here.

This Sleeper Issue Took Over The Democratic Convention’s First Night. The Trans-Pacific Partnership was suddenly on everybody’s lips: here.

This 26 July 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders Overpowers The Boos In Moving DNC Speech

This video from the USA says about itself:

26 July 2016

Jordan Chariton speaks with Bernie Sanders delegates, while locked out of the press tent outside the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Why Did Sanders Delegates Protest At DNC?

26 July 2016

Why did the Bernie Sanders delegates walk out? Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola (ThinkTank), and Michael Shure, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

This video from the USA says about itself:

26 July 2016

Jordan Chariton speaks with protesting Bernie Sanders delegates outside the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Pfizerite-Blairite Smith’s xenophobia card against Labour’s Corbyn


This video from Britain says about itself:

“Owen Smith’s a career politician” – Jonathan Pie

22 July 2016

Jonathan Pie focuses on working out how left “Soft Left” is, which is more left than Tory right but more right than Corbyn & tackles Owen “Pfizer” Smith.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Labour leadership election: Owen Smith refuses to dismiss ‘too many immigrants’ fears

These ‘too many immigrants’ fears for many decades have been central in the propaganda of the neonazi British National Party, of the National Front in Britain and in France, and of similar extreme right parties.

and questions Corbyn‘s patriotism

‘I suspect that Jeremy has got a rather more metropolitan sense of that and that’s not one I think is central to the Labour tradition’

Ashley Cowburn, Political Correspondent

Labour leadership contender Owen Smith has refused to dismiss the suggestion there are “too many immigrants” in Britain – as he questioned Jeremy Corbyn‘s patriotism.

Mr Smith, who is running his campaign against current leader Mr Corbyn on a “save Labour” platform, said that in some parts of the country “the way in which we saw rapid influx of – in particular – eastern European migrants after accession of those countries to Europe definitely caused downward pressure on wages”.

Asked whether there are “too many immigrants” in Britain, he responded: “I think it depends where you are”. …

It comes as Mr Corbyn fights a legal battle over his place in the contest, after he was automatically named on the ballot paper without having to secure nominations from the party’s MPs. If Michael Foster, a Labour donor who is pursuing the challenge, emerges successful it could mean the whole leadership race is scrapped and restarted. …

Mr Smith, who said he would meet the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence, renew Trident and be prepared to push the button to launch a nuclear strike if he was in Number 10, said: …

Asked if he was calling Mr Corbyn unpatriotic, Mr Smith said: “I am saying that I think it is something that is not core to his set of beliefs. He has got a set of liberal perspectives and left perspectives on things and nationhood and nationalism and patriotism aren’t really part of his make-up.” …

Many supporters of the Remain position in the Brexit referendum have dismissed all criticisms of the European Union as ´nationalist´ (which they are not). The main objection which the Blairite right-wingers have voiced against democratically elected Labour leader Corbyn, their pretext for their coup attempt, is that Corbyn should have campaigned more fanatically, and jointly with Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, for European Union membership. Corbyn, while campaigning hard (according to ex-anti Corbyn Blairite leadership candidate Angela Eagle) for a Remain vote in the referendum, did not pretend that the EU was flawless, and did not campaign jointly with the Conservatives (Labour right-wingers campaigning jointly with Cameron against Scottish independence had gravely, maybe mortally, wounded the Labour party in Scotland). Corbyn has also said that the majority vote for Brexit in the referendum should be respected.

Owen Smith, on the other hand, has said to hell with what the voters said on the EU; have a second referendum (and maybe a third one, a fourth one, etc.) until the stupid unwashed electorate will at last be obedient to the Confederation of British Industry and will vote at last pro-EU (like the Irish electorate at last voted for the Lisbon treaty, after having voted against it). Now, that same Owen Smith says he is a British nationalist, so a ‘good guy’. While Corbyn is not a nationalist, so a ‘bad guy.’

Perhaps Mr Owen Smith tries to become leader of the wrong party for him (like in 2015, Owen Smith’s fellow Blairite Liz Kendall tried to become Labour leader, while it might have been better if she would have tried to become Conservative leader). Owen Smith for leader of the British National Party? Of the English Defence League?

Mr Corbyn’s leadership received a boost as Sarah Champion – one of the senior MPs who quit their front-bench roles as confidence in his leadership disappeared at Westminster – returned to her shadow ministerial role. …

But she has now returned to her post as a shadow home office minister, focusing on women, equality and domestic violence issues, and Mr Corbyn’s office urged other rebels to follow her back to the front benches.

British petition for Blair accountability on Iraq war lies


This January 2015 video from Britain is called Tony Blair Not In Jail? I Literally Don’t Understand: Russell Brand The Trews (E235).

By Zoe Streatfield in Britain:

Blair petition passes 10,000 signatures

Tuesday 26th July 2016

Milestone means government must respond

A PETITION calling for MPs to hold Tony Blair to account for misleading the public in the run-up to the Iraq war reached a significant milestone yesterday.

The online parliamentary petition now has over 10,000 signatories, which means the government will have to make an official reply.

Stop the War vice-chair Chris Nineham told the Star that it was “no surprise” that people had already signed in such numbers.

Mr Nineham said: “The act of lying to take us into the Iraq war, more than any, other embodies the contempt for democracy that plagues our politics.”

He said it was “essential” that Mr Blair “faces some accounting as a warning to politicians in the future not to take us into disastrous foreign wars and not to deceive the public and Parliament alike.”

Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly member Adam Price, who instigated the petition, said he was pleased with its progress and hoped it would gain the 100,000 signatures needed to force a Commons debate on the issue.

Mr Price said: “Blair is guilty of a litany of errors and failures” and “must face his day of reckoning if justice is to be served to all of those who suffered at his hands.”

He said he had been working with MPs across all parties who are “all eager to ensure that everything possible is done to hold Tony Blair to account for misleading the House of Commons and the public.”

SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh welcomed the news and pledged to “continue to work with MPs from across the House of Commons who want to see Parliament act to address this serious issue.

She said: “If we are to retain the public’s confidence in Parliament, we must hold Tony Blair to account for the misleading statements he made in the run up to the war in Iraq.”

The petition can be found at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/159996.