Category Archives: Military

Pentagon Fails Another Audit, Yet Congress Poised to Approve $847 Billion Budget

“This isn’t using our taxpayer dollars wisely,” said the National Priorities Project. “It’s robbing programs that we need, like the discontinued child tax credit that cut child poverty by half.”

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 12-1-2022 by Common Dreams

F-35A Lightning II drops a 2,000-pound GBU-31 bomb. Photo: Public Domain

Anti-war advocates blasted U.S. lawmakers on Thursday, one day after it was reported that Congress is expected to pass an $847 billion military budget for the coming fiscal year even though the Pentagon recently failed its fifth consecutive annual audit and nearly 40 million people nationwide are living in poverty.

Last month, “the Pentagon once again failed to pass a basic audit showing that it knows where its money goes,” the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies said in a statement. “And instead of holding out for any kind of accountability, Congress stands ready to give a big raise to an agency that failed to account for more than 60% of its assets.” Continue reading

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‘The Nightmare Materializes’: Far-Right Extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir to Be Israel’s National Security Minister

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority said Ben-Gvir’s elevation to national security minister could have a “catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

By Jake Johnson  Published 11-25-2022 by Common Dreams

Itamar Ben-Gvir and radical right political activist Bentzi Gopstein in Sheikh Jarrah in February 2022. Photo: שי קנדלר/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right Israeli lawmaker who was convicted of incitement to racism against Arabs and supporting a terrorist organization in 2007, is poised to become Israel’s national security minister after reaching a deal Friday with incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Haaretz reported that the agreement between Likud and Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Power party is the first Netanyahu “has signed with another party as part of the coalition negotiations following this month’s elections, which saw his bloc winning the majority of votes.” Under the terms of the deal, Reuters observed, Ben-Gvir “will have an expanded security portfolio that will include responsibility for Border Police in the occupied West Bank.” Continue reading

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Israel Refuses to Cooperate With US Probe Into Palestinian-American Journalist’s Killing

Israeli officials condemned the FBI investigation, while Shireen Abu Akleh’s family expressed hope that the probe will lead to accountability for those responsible.

By Julia Conley  Published 11-15-2022 by Common Dreams

Funeral of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh after her assassination in Palestine. Photo: alwatan_live/Wikimedia Commons/CC

The family of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh expressed hope Tuesday that the FBI’s newly announced investigation into her death will bring them “closer to justice,” as Israeli officials said they will not cooperate with the FBI and condemned the U.S. for opening a probe at all.

Israeli Foreign Minister Benny Gantz suggested the Biden administration should accept the “professional, independent investigation” already conducted by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), which concluded that the bullet that killed Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank in May was too damaged to determine who had fired it. Continue reading

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Rehearsal for ‘Armageddon’ Underway as NATO and Russia Hold Nuclear Exercises

“All nuclear exercises imply willingness to mass murder civilians, wipe out entire cities, and risk all-out nuclear war,” said ICAN. “They also risk accidents and escalation, and will legitimize Russia’s dangerous nuclear rhetoric.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 10-17-2022 by Common Dreams

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress leads a formation of aircraft including American, Polish, German, and Swedish fighter aircraft over the Baltic Sea on June 9, 2016. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

As NATO on Monday began its annual rehearsal for nuclear war in Europe and Russia prepared to conduct its own nuclear drill amid Cold War-like tensions inflamed by the invasion of Ukraine, peace advocates underscored the imperative for de-escalation in order to avert catastrophe.

“All nuclear exercises imply willingness to mass murder civilians, wipe out entire cities, and risk all-out nuclear war,” the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) warned ahead of the NATO drill. “They also risk accidents and escalation, and will legitimize Russia’s dangerous nuclear rhetoric.” Continue reading

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More Than 57,000 US Sites Contaminated by Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’

The finding comes after a separate analysis showed that companies are exploiting a Trump-era loophole to avoid reporting PFAS pollution.

By Julia Conley  Published 10-12-2022 by Common Dreams

PFAS foam. Photo: Water Online

The authors of a new study showing that tens of thousands of sites across the United States are believed to be contaminated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, often called “forever chemicals,” warned that their findings likely vastly underestimate the prevalence of the chemicals, because they’re used in so many products.

Scientists at Northeastern University in Boston led the study, which was published Wednesday in Environmental Science & Technology Letters and identified 57,412 sites where per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination is presumed. Continue reading

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Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Relying on Diesel Generators After Shelling

If the generators run out of fuel, “they will stop, and after that there will be a disaster,” said a Ukrainian nuclear expert. “There will be a melting of the active core and a release of radioactivity from there.”

By Kenny Stancil  Published 10-8-2022 by Common Dreams

A worker at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in August 2022. Photo: Just Click’s With A Camera/flickr/CC

The Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southeastern Ukraine has been forced to switch to emergency diesel generators after overnight shelling disconnected the facility from the electric grid, Ukraine’s state-run nuclear operator and the United Nation’s atomic watchdog said Saturday.

If the generators run out of fuel, “they will stop, and after that there will be a disaster,” Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine’s public nuclear enterprise Energoatom, told BBC World News. “There will be a melting of the active core and a release of radioactivity from there. Continue reading

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For Vladimir Putin, Russia’s future is North Korea-lite

The occupied Luhansk and Donetsk regions offer the president a template of brute, military-style governance

By Jeremy Morris  Published 9-30-2022 by openDemocracy

Vladimir_Putin. Photo: Kremlin/CC

Right now, with the Kremlin’s annexation of the occupied territories in southern and eastern Ukraine imminent, public focus is naturally on the implications for Russia’s war against Ukraine and on the prospect of escalation by Russia.

But as an anthropologist working on Russian politics and society, I’m interested in how the administration and governance in places like the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ reflect a possible future for the whole of Russia – a future that looks like ‘North Korea-lite’. Continue reading

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Fears Mount Bolsonaro Will Turn Brazilian Bicentennial Into ‘Violence in the Streets’

“No one can hold Bolsonaro back,” said a presidential campaign insider.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 9-6-2022 by Common Dreams

Bolsonaro (second from left) Photo: Força Aérea Brasileira CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

Brazil is preparing for potential violence that could resemble last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol as far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro plans a pair of Wednesday events to mark the nation’s bicentennial.

“In the capital Brasília, security officials are bracing for a crowd of 500,000 people on the central mall, which Bolsonaro will address after overseeing the traditional military parade marking 200 years of Brazil’s independence from Portugal,” Reuters reported Tuesday. Continue reading

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Gorbachev’s legacy is lauded by the West. The reality is more complicated

Gorbachev was heralded by the West but his political legacy feels largely irrelevant today

By Thomas Rowley  Published 8-31-2022 by openDemocracy

Former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Moscow, May 12, 2010 Photo: Veni/flickr/CC

It was in 1984, Mikhail Gorbachev recalled, that he met Margaret Thatcher at Chequers.

The relationship between the pair has since been romanticised, with Thatcher famously referring to Gorbachev as “a man one could do business with”.

In his recollection of the trip, Gorbachev remembered the encounter as “open and friendly”, adding: “nevertheless, our ideological differences immediately became apparent”. Continue reading

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Here’s how government documents are classified to keep sensitive information safe

Donald Trump is under federal investigation for mishandling classified documents.
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Jeffrey Fields, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Documents sought by the U.S. Justice Department from former President Donald Trump may contain material related to what The New York Times described as “some of the most highly classified programs run by the United States.” The Washington Post reported that “classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought” during a search of Trump’s Florida home on Aug. 8, 2022.

Classified information is the kind of material that the U.S. government or an agency deems sensitive enough to national security that access to it must be controlled and restricted. Continue reading

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