The LATEST EVENTS EDITION, frequently updated (as recently as SATURDAY, June 29, at 8:30 am), has our coverage of festivals, concerts, film events, gallery openings, musicals, other live theatre, and quite literally, MUCH more. Get there by scrolling past this special news edition, or go there directly at:
THIS IS A special edition, calling on you, our readers, to take a simple action to STOP the build-up to yet another war, this one with Iran. This edition has already been read by many thousands, all around the world.
We intrude here less frequently with news of the outside world, because there is so much to report about music and the arts. But sometimes we must ask you to accompany us to a reality check, and ask that you join us in making a difference. Right now, it's necessary that we join together to face responsibilities to our own people for the last war, even as we take crucial steps to stop the next one.
It doesn't get any more serious than trying to stop a war. We're often told "It's a democracy, you decide," even as we live with the disillusionment of knowing that Big Money, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Chem, Big Ag, and Big Media rule a corporatocracy that seduces us with cyber baubles and rules us with predictive analytics derived from their incessant theft of our own data. Realizing such things leads quickly to despair that our voice does not matter. But these are volatile times. It's all up for grabs. Small things do matter, and they can produce profoundly big outcomes.
You can stop the next war. If you waste no time. "Time," that by the way, the chronically ill first victims of the last war no longer have.
We nearly published a piece a few days ago in support of immediate, emergency legislation to restore funding for the medical care needs of 9/11 First Responders. But it looked like Jon Stewart's brilliantly dramatic and eloquent testimony before Congress had dislodged that dysfunctional assemblage from dead center, and put things on the fast track for passage.
Turns out it didn't. And now the excruciatingly pathetic and wholly unjustifiable dithering, dawdling, bickering, and one-upmanship game-playing of our elected representatives? It is costing the health, lives, and family finances of firefighters, Port Authority cops, NYPD officers and others who ran into the danger, and who rescued -- and then recovered remains of -- the initial victims.
Now there are many more victims. And not just the endlessly re-deployed uniformed military whose traumatized veterans fall to suicide at the rate of 22 each day. Failure to care for, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, those "who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan," is wrong in only one respect -- both military and 9/11 heroes and victims are not limited to males. Women also bravely rushed in on that September morning, wearing turnout coats and blue uniforms or office attire. Now, even as military veterans' needs are underserved, all those First Responders are being kicked to the curb.
|With even Fox News supporting Jon Stewart's appeal for 9/11 First Responders, there should not have been anyone playing obstructionist. Nope. Epic fail for Congress to do its job.|
Having failed to care for the last war's wounded, is it time to make more?
The provocation is being kept simple enough for the chronically stupid: it's the "unprovoked" shoot-down of a $200 million spy plane, either a US Navy BAMS-D, Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator, or a USAF RQ-4A Global Hawk, depending on your source. Actually, it might be a prototype of something even more advanced. Either way, it's a 737-sized U.S. military drone that's capable of launching offensive missiles. (Oops. The media isn't supposed to reveal capabilities of "our" freedom-defending drones, are we? We are not alone in not getting the memo.)
The downing of the drone marks a new escalation in a very tense situation — and with the Trump administration stacked with warmongers, we may well be witnessing the kabuki theatre "presented in a flashy way with little (or sometimes misleading) substance" that leads inexorably to the beginning of a war.
After the second round of oil tanker attacks last week, the Trump war cabinet instantly blamed Iran, ordered 1,000 more troops, and set their pro-Iran-war public relations campaign on full blast.
|Iran is the historical Persia. All the modern names |
were applied when Britain and France carved the
Middle East into convenient colonies after WW I.
Which often explains plenty about today's strife.
Miles continues, "We remember the Iraq War. We know the immense human horror and heartbreak that we are SO CLOSE to again — which is why Win Without War has been working flat-out to put an emergency brake on this march to war, through Congress, the media, and with allies around the world."
|US troops assembling to invade Iraq. Is Iran next?|
In the past few days, we’ve also learned that behind closed doors, Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been telling lawmakers they will have nothing to say about it. He says the 2001 AUMF (Authorization for the Use of Military Force) — we call it a "one-size-fits-all-wars-on-people-we-don't-like" law -- passed EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO in response to the 9/11 attacks, would (according to Pompeo) give them authority to wage war against Iran without a Constitutionally-required Declaration of War or any specific Congressional approval.
We’re seeing Team Trump re-launch an intensified public relations campaign selling anti-Iranian and anti-Muslim hate to set the stage for a destructive war with Iran. One by one, they’re trying to lock-in everything they need to launch some kind of war against Iran.
What's the public to believe? Brian Dickerson writes in the Detroit Free Press, "I want you to think about the dangers of charging, tip-toeing or stumbling into such a conflict under the leadership of a commander-in-chief a majority of Americans suspect may be a lying narcissist, and who has demonstrated a willingness to subordinate his country's interests to his own."
Dickerson continues, "But now the president who just weeks ago accused the intelligence community of conspiring in an unsuccessful coup against his presidency is citing the same agencies as authority for his own assertions that Iran is responsible for attacks that crippled two oil tankers in waters south of the Strait of Hormuz... this past week."
On Fox News on Thursday, Greg Guttfeld celebrated that "Drones have replaced bones... this is now a big video game. We can fight wars without hurling bodies at bodies... this is good news... you retaliate with machines against machines. Fortunately we have the best stuff, the most advanced machines."
|Four nations, before and after 21st century U.S. "regime change" aerial wars.|
The good news is it looks like the public isn’t buying the administration's war-mongering, or Fox News playing cheerleader while wearing its video game's virtual flak vest.
|The late professor Howard Zinn, author|
of "A People's History of the United States"
All are combining to take the wind out of a warconomy that conducts an endless psychological hammering of the masses with stacked-deck partial truths, sensationalist distraction, trivial diversion and fear-based obfuscation that collectively functions as disinformation, underpinned by self-serving assumptions, en-route to things going bang in the night. Make no mistake, the corporacratic oligarchs' money and power and "short-term-profit-taking" investor class are aligned against all who oppose the profitable pursuit of reaping blood money on an industrial scale.
|Of course, this meme is from the last|
go 'round. Iran is not tribal or tentbound.
It is urbane with a population of 82 million people.
Dickerson looks at history: "This [attack on oil tankers and how we respond to it] is precisely the sort of hiccup (Google 'assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand' or 'Gulf of Tonkin incident') that presaged some truly memorable 20th Century bloodbaths. So the president's un-nuanced accusations ('Iran did do it') and threats ('If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran') have rattled even a global audience grown accustomed to Trumpian bluster."
He cites the established pattern from the Commander-in-Tweet, whose thumbs threatened a month ago:
"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
SecState Pompeo cites motive, means, and opportunity for attacks by Iran on "the world's oil supplies," and in case we don't get the message that we, the citizens of the U.S., are somehow obligated by a new Manifest Destiny to always make that our business? Just add-in a measure of who's the biggest badass on the block, and emotion will trump reason.
|Old themes as new memes on social media. |
Over time, do messages take hold?
But as Dickerson says, the "smoking guns are suspect." Tanker crews say they saw incoming missiles, yet the U.S. says that mines, magnetically-attached to the ships' hulls, were detonated. U.S. drones precisely report their flight paths with exact location known, moment by moment. Yet the Pentagon briefing was made by phone, from an empty podium, and no data was offered to support the claim that the drone was over international waters. There's an even bigger disconnect with a president who repeatedly tells us not to trust the very same agencies he now calls upon to provide his provocation for war.
The fight to stop yet another war could go either way. Both the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would bar funding for an illegal, unauthorized war with Iran. HR 2354 in the House of Representatives and S 1039 in the Senate would prohibit the U.S. from using any federal funds to engage in military action in Iran without congressional approval or a declaration of war. But passage of either is doubtful.
In addition, public opinion is a manipulated commodity. We know that "Media censors the opinions of 37% of Americans. And... they’re gloating about it," as Ted Rall recently cited in LA Progressive. He continued, "The majority is voiceless. A privileged minority rules. The United States is a political apartheid state."
|Everyone else invests in infrastructure that we "protect"-?|
Dickerson concludes his piece using a quote: "'We ride too high on deceptive notions of power and security and control,' an aging Nobel laureate muses near the end of 'Asymmetry,' Lisa Halliday's best-selling novel. '... Our military might is unmatched, and, in any case, the madness is at least an ocean away.'
"'And then all of a sudden we look up from ordering paper towels online to find ourselves delivered right into the madness. And we wonder: How did this happen? What was I doing when this was in the works?'
"It is time to look up from our screens — or at least use them to learn some geography."
Simultaneously, Miles says, "We are in a race against time to stop Trump’s warmongers crossing-over their self-determined threshold before bombs start to rain down."
Doing your part to stop it -- provided you do it early -- is simple:
|Heavy-handed admonitions didn't stop escalating wars |
under Bush 43 or Obama. What will it take this time?
Or is that "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind"-?
Tell them, "RECLAIM YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY, RESPONSIBILITY, AND YOUR OBLIGATIONS TO 'WE, THE PEOPLE,' THAT COME WITH YOUR OFFICE. NO WAR AGAINST IRAN -- NO CREATED PROVOCATIONS (no more ginned-up Tonkin Gulf Resolutions, no more AUMFs)."
NO WAR USING U.S. FORCES, NO PROXY WAR (by supplying arms to Saudi Arabia or Israel or anyone else to attack Iran for us). NO DRONE WAR, NO AERIAL WAR, NO MISSILE WAR, NO NAVAL BLOCKADE WAR -- NO. WAR. -- NO WAR!"
Once you've expressed that, tell them you aren't done yet.
First, you also want them to act IMMEDIATELY, before they take the first of their many summer vacations, because they need to take care of PERMANENT (not more wimpy stop-gap) medical funding for 9/11 First Responders.
Second, clearly communicate something more: you want them to know you are watching them, and if they don't do their jobs, you will happily vote for someone else who can and who will.
You can get all the contact information for your elected
federal representatives at:
"No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." -- Edmund Burke, Irish orator, philosopher, and politician (1729 - 1797).
The LATEST EVENTS EDITION, frequently updated, has our coverage of festivals, concerts, film events, gallery openings, musicals, other live theatre, and more.
"Hee Haw" voice: "THAT's all!"